Common Core: “If You Like Your Curriculum, You Can Keep Your Curriculum”

Jason Bedrick, a brilliant guy from NH, now at Cato has an excellent article about how Common Core requires schools to change their curriculum – for the worse. Some of his points:
  • The same educrats who said for years that “the standards do not mandate any specific curriculum or prescribe any particular method of teaching” now are saying that “for standards to have any impact, however, they must change classroom practice.”
  • The creators of Common Core use “lexiles,” which measure things like sentence length and vocabulary to rate the complexity of a text. But the simplistic lexile scores absurdly conclude that Sports Illustrated for Kids is more complex than “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

Read the whole thing.

NY doctors avoiding ObamaCare like the plague

44% of New York MDs refuse to participate in ObamaCare; 33% are unsure whether they will or not. Of the 23% who are participating, three-quarters said it was because they were contractually obligated, leaving a mere 6% who actually want to join in ObamaCare. Those are some of the results of a poll reported in the NY Post.

Even more telling are some of the doctors’ comments.

  • “This is so poorly designed that a lot of doctors are afraid to participate.”
  • “I plan to retire if this disaster is implemented. This is a train wreck.”
  •  “The solution is simple: Just say no.”
  • “I am seriously considering opting out of all insurance plans including Medicare because of [ObamaCare].”
  • “OBAMACARE is a disaster. I have already seen denial of medication, denial of referrals,”
  • “I get screwed from insurance companies already. I refuse to get screwed any longer.”

The politicians can force companies to provide insurance for their employees; they can force individuals to buy insurance. But they cannot force doctors to provide actual health care.


Who said and where …

I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. …I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is “needed” before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.


Climate Change Charts

A central Greenland ice core shows an interesting temperature record going back about 50,000 years.

histo61-1Well what do you know – there was a “hockey stick” shaped increase in temperatures. But let’s look back a little farther:

histo5-1Around the year 1000 there was a Medieval Warming Period (MWP) followed by a Little Ice Age (LIA). How about even further back:

histo4-1What we see is a cooling trend for about 3,000 years. That little hockey stick leaves us still cooler than average.


In the historical perspective, recent warming is almost invisible.






Six myths about U.S. education

Popular lies about U.S. education certainly don’t do the kids any good. They just let the adults continue to feel comfortable while kids receive increasing diagnoses of ADHD and special needs, delay life milestones like marriage and buying a house, enter a crippled workforce, and face paying off the biggest debt in the history of humankind while receiving no government benefits in return. All these, and more, are directly related to education quality.

That is from an interesting – and worrisome – article in The Federalist. “Six lies have been repeatedly publicly disproven but remain driving forces for education policy:”

  • Lie 1: America’s rich, suburban schools are high quality

    “The United States’ best schools are mediocre compared to their international peers”

  • Lie 2: Poverty is the root of America’s education problems

    “A raft of studies have shown that increasing education spending does not increase student achievement.”
    “Teachers and schools can overcome poverty and neglect. We know because some have, and not at random. For example, giving a child who lags two years behind his peers an excellent teacher (defined as a top-25-percent teacher) four years in a row will catch him up.”

  • Lie 3: Schools should teach generic skills like “critical thinking” and “real-world application”

    “There are no skills that apply to any knowledge indiscriminately. Believing that, however plausible it sounds, is the intellectual equivalent of asking a carpenter to apply his chiseling skills to gardening, or horseback riding. Knowledge acquisition must be systematic and focused, and requires memory. You cannot have great reading skill that applies equally to a passage about the Civil War and to one about the lifecycle of amoebae.”

  • Lie 4: Teachers are well-prepared professionals

    “Teacher training ends up handicapping teachers by instilling in them the most ineffective education philosophies and methods. A review of all the available research on teacher certification has decisively shown it does not result in better teachers.”

Read the whole thing.


Obama’s Credibility Is Melting

Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal:

All of a sudden, from Washington to Riyadh, Barack Obama’s credibility is melting.

Amid the predictable collapse the past week of’s too-complex technology, not enough notice was given to Sen. Marco Rubio’s statement that the chances for success on immigration reform are about dead. Why? Because, said Sen. Rubio, there is “a lack of trust” in the president’s commitments.


Last weekend the diplomatic world was agog at the refusal of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah to accept a seat on the U.N. Security Council. Global disbelief gave way fast to clear understanding: The Saudis have decided that the United States is no longer a reliable partner in Middle Eastern affairs.

The Saudi king, who supported Syria’s anti-Assad rebels early, before Islamic jihadists polluted the coalition, watched Mr. Obama’s red line over Assad’s use of chemical weapons disappear into an about-face deal with Vladimir Putin. The next time King Abdullah looked up, Mr. Obama was hanging the Saudis out to dry yet again by phoning up Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani, Assad’s primary banker and armorer, to chase a deal on nuclear weapons. Within days, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief, Prince Bandar, let it be known that the Saudis intend to distance themselves from the U.S.


Bluntly, Mr. Obama’s partners are concluding that they cannot do business with him. They don’t trust him. Whether it’s the Saudis, the Syrian rebels, the French, the Iraqis, the unpivoted Asians or the congressional Republicans, they’ve all had their fill of coming up on the short end with so mercurial a U.S. president. And when that happens, the world’s important business doesn’t get done. It sits in a dangerous and volatile vacuum.